Crawl Space Improvements: An Overview
Many people think appliances, doors, and windows are the primary elements of an energy-efficient home. Yet, while upgrading old appliances and drafty windows can boost the health of your home, making crawl space improvements is one of the most vital yet neglected areas.
Crawl spaces can be a significant source of energy loss during summer and winter. However, you can improve the efficiency of your crawl space and reduce monthly utility bills by making a few modifications. Keep reading to learn how to help your home’s efficiency by making crawl space improvements.
What Is a Crawl Space?
A crawl space is an area under the main floor of a building. It is usually unheated and may be either naturally or mechanically ventilated.
A “foundation basement,” a crawl space, is the area underneath your house that is an open hole filled with wood framing, insulation, and dirt. Therefore, it is a very vulnerable space susceptible to mold, mildew, rot, and pests.
If your home has a crawl space, you will likely hear people say that they love it during the summer but hate it in the winter. That’s because, during the summer, the crawl space is a great place to put your stuff since it’s cooler down there.
It’s also an excellent place to store gardening supplies since it’s easy to get to. But in the winter, the crawl space is frigid and full of creepy crawly bugs. So, where do the benefits of a crawl space come into play, and what crawl space improvements can you make to your home?
Crawl Space Conditions
The conditions of the crawl space are of critical importance. A correctly designed and constructed crawl space will significantly improve the home’s indoor air quality and energy efficiency.
Unfortunately, many crawl spaces are poorly designed and built, with no attention paid to the potential of the area to contribute to the home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency. When properly designed and constructed, the crawl space can be used for temperature and humidity control and is integral to the home’s indoor air quality management system.
A correctly designed and constructed crawl space will positively impact the house’s indoor air quality and reduce energy costs by as much as 20 percent.
Airtight Crawl Space Openings Are Necessary
Any crawl space door or window should be sealed, insulated, and airtight, just as with any other door or window in your home. Unfortunately, this aspect of the crawl space is frequently neglected, and is one of the most important crawl space improvements you can do.
Often, a piece of plywood or a slab of metal is placed over the opening. As a result, outside air continually collects under the house, making it challenging to keep the temperature comfortable. Crawl space doors should fit the opening and come with insulation and weather stripping to create a snug seal when closed.
Have Your Ductwork Repaired and Insulated
Crawl spaces are also critical components of the home, as they contain a lot of plumbing and ductwork. If there are any holes in the ducts, air will simply escape into the crawl space, making it difficult to heat or cool the space above.
Therefore, sealing any holes and preventing gaps at connection points is one of the critical crawl space improvements to make. Ducts lined with insulation are also a terrific solution that will keep the environment at an optimal and constant temperature.
Insulate Your Crawl Space
Installing an insulation board on the crawl space walls is an one of the most economical and straightforward crawl space improvements to regulate air temperature. This product is also moisture resistant, so you won’t have to fret about encouraging mold growth.
In addition, because the walls are insulated, it will be easy to access the plumbing, wiring, and ducts when you need to inspect them or make repairs.
Benefits of Properly Installed Crawl Space Insulation
A properly insulated crawl space will significantly impact the home’s indoor air quality and energy efficiency. These are the primary benefits of a correctly insulated crawl space:
Reduced Energy Costs
A properly insulated crawl space will reduce energy costs associated with heating and cooling the home. The reduction will depend on the quality of insulation used with your crawl space improvements, and the climate of the home’s region.
A properly insulated crawl space will reduce the amount of moisture in the crawl space. When a crawl space is adequately insulated and ventilated, it reduces the amount of moisture to an acceptable level for the home’s and its occupants’ health.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
A properly insulated, ventilated, and drained crawl space will improve the home’s indoor air quality. In addition, a well-insulated and properly vented crawl space will reduce the amount of indoor airborne pollutants such as dust and molds.
Install a Dehumidifier in Your Crawl Space
A dehumidifier is the best way to regulate crawl space temperatures and is one of the best crawl space improvements to do. Using one will prevent the air from becoming too hot or too cold. It will also remove moisture from the air and avoid mold growth.
An energy-efficient model relies on a thermostat that detects when the air has reached a specific temperature. Using the dehumidifier will, therefore, not waste energy if it is not necessary.
Choosing a suitable dehumidifier model depends on the size of your crawl space and the weather conditions in your region. Therefore, research is crucial so that you can find the best solution for your household.
Pest Management Systems Inc. experts can help you make your crawl space improvements by creating an insulated crawl space, which helps with keeping out pests and moisture. In addition, we specialize in crawl space repair and making it a more energy-efficient crawl space.
We serve homes across North Carolina, from the Triad to the Sand Hills. Please contact us today to get a free estimate for crawl space improvements to your home.